Skip to main content

tv   Washington Journal  CSPAN  April 10, 2010 7:00am-10:00am EDT

7:00 am
the retirement of justice stephens and the role of the southern political leadership conference and kevin mack corporationly has talk about taxes and refugees "inteliigence2 debate". washing"inteliige international. "washington journal" is next. . .
7:01 am
[captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2010] here are the lines that you can comment on this morning. justice stevens is about to retire. is there a battle ahead? you can read just a couple of other ways if you want to do, besides the phone line. you can join us on twitter. even also find this on here are house some other newspapers are playing out the announcement.
7:02 am
in the last paragraph, they talk about what is ahead as far as the election process. that is the "washington post." here is the "new york times." in ""the wall street journal", this is how they are freezing it
7:03 am
this morning. -- of phrasing it this morning. all of those editorials talking about the process ahead. that is what we are focusing average discussion on this morning. if you like to weigh in on the selection of the next justice in light of this announcement of justice paul stevens, here are the numbers. let us start off with dennis on our democrats line from silver spring, maryland. caller: i think president obama got it right.
7:04 am
he is the president. he can choose whoever he wants. just like george bush. nothing is wrong. but [unintelligible] i do not know what is going on in this country. thank you, c-span. host: saratoga, n.y., independent line. caller: being an independent, there is going to be a battle. this and it used to not be a big deal. now everything is a battle between these republicans and democrats. host: where do you think the battle is going to center at? caller: it is too liberal, this and that. the end of the world. they said the same thing when
7:05 am
george bush was in there. in whoever is in gets to pick. there should not be a big cry about it. there is a basic problem that the whole country is having. there is this fight between the democrats and republicans that is ruining the country, because a house divided always falls. host: in the selection of the next justice, what should be the main consideration then? caller: they should get some people in there that are for the people. the last decision about these corporations and unions -- it is ridiculous. the people are being reduced to -- it all comes down to division. nobody wants to work with anyone
7:06 am
anymore. these guys all have their jobs and their power. in the long run, we are the ones that a getting crushed out here. they have to do something to stick together. this is just going to be a food fight. host: john off of torture says this. who will serve -- of twitter says this. caller: i can see a fight coming up. the republicans have to brand obama as a radical socialist, even though he is not. let's get most of what he has done. the republicans are out of
7:07 am
power and have to scare the public into believing that obama is a radical socialist in order for them to regain power. for example, down in new orleans at the slrc, the speaker got up there and branded obama as this radical socialist. they are no more radical than what ronald reagan was doing when he was president of the united states. they will use the supreme court fight as another tactic in trying to make the american people feel that president obama is some kind of left wing, socialist radical, who is trying to destroy the country, when in reality, he is not. host: "the washington post" has pictures of the three leading
7:08 am
candidates. we will quickly go through each of them. here is the first. as far as the pros and cons are concerned, a broad knowledge of the law. she had a leadership of harvard law. the con, the appointment of a second consecutive new yorker with ivy league credentials. she would be the third straight nominee from princeton. the court has never had three female justices at one time. and here is the next candidate. he is from chicago. he would be another appellate judge and another white male among the five already.
7:09 am
he is a harvard grad. and then the next candidate from new jersey. a former professor at the chicago university law school. she has had conservative colleagues for years. she would bring in geographic, gender, and academic diversity. herb caen is opinions protecting the abortion rights. the obama administration saw how volatile this was in the health- care debate. these are the three contenders. georgia, republican line. caller: i am a conservative. look at this objectively. obama makes zero african- americans a second judge on the
7:10 am
court. -- make an african americans a second judge on the court. -- may owe african americans a second judge on the court. host: independent line, dennis. caller: thhe needs to balance out the court a little bit. we have alito -- it is an activist right lane of cowing c. he needs to balance it out by going extremely left. host: how would you define that?
7:11 am
that is on the left side of the ledger. women's rights and generally where there are issues of social concern and things of nature that are more relaxed for the general public and not so right wing. when they let a crimes bill gunter, that was a crime against humanity. it was -- crimes bill goes through, it was a crime against humanity. it was just ridiculous. our society is beginning to reflect the aggravation. i think we just need to lighten up a little bit in deal in little bit more left wing. host: do you think the president is willing to do that? caller: you are breaking up, can
7:12 am
you repeat that? host: do you think the president will find the type of person you are looking for. i know there is a bad connection. we will have to let you go. democrats line. caller: good morning. i am hoping that even the the public fans are fed up with the court at this point. the one i think of all the time is the one that gives the city the ability to take whoevers land they want for the protection. host: maine. caller: yes. i think once people in this country, no matter what side you are on, think that is just the worst.
7:13 am
i agree. we have got to have -- seeing these supreme court will come up, 5-4, and i disagree with all of them. i want to see the court more to the left. right now, with the 5-4, we are going to get right wing. host: do you think the president is willing to find the kind of person you are looking for? caller: i hope so. the only problem that my president has, and i love this man, is that he tries so hard to be fair. and it does not do him any good. i hope becomes to the point where he realizes even though he has gone along with two power plants and opened up drilling
7:14 am
sites and stuff, you never hear republicans say anything good about any of that. they keep banging him on other stuff. they are never happy. host: we recently aired a theory on the supreme court. part of it is the ability to speak with different justices. to give you a sense of the selection process and what a person adds to the court, here is justice ginsburg. >> i would say you would be surprised by the high level here. this term, i think we divided 5- 4 in almost one-third of all the cases. one might get a false impression
7:15 am
from that degree of disagreement. one person once commented that there was no justice with whom he disagreed what often than justice brennan. and yet justice scalia said justin brennan was his best friend on the court at that time. and he felt the feeling was reciprocated. the public would not know that from reading an opinion from justice brennan for justice scalia. but these men generally -- genuinely liked each other. host: that is from our supreme court series. you can find it on our web site,
7:16 am
select the lower right-hand corner above the retirement of justice stevens. kansas, republican line, john. good morning. caller: good morning. i had a question. the earlier caller who said we needed somebody extremely left was a republican caller as i understood. host: i do not recall which one he was on. caller: he supposedly was on the republican line. he went on and on about how we need to be very left. i have a comment on your
7:17 am
policies and procedures. you start with the democratic line followed by the independent and republican. on several occasions in the past few months, they do not bother to answer the republican line. host: i do not know how you can prove your first point. you are on the line right now. caller: it would be very easy to prove. it is too bad you are not regulated by the fcc. host: what is your comment? caller: the court has gone a dangerously to the left for the past 40 years. now the "new york times" is saying it has gone too far to
7:18 am
the right. if you look at the original constitution, ever since fdr started packing the court, there has been an assault on the u.s. supreme court. host: thanks for your comment. we enter the lines randomly. we will continue on. democrats want. caller: i am glad you handle that so well. i get tired of hearing republicans calling in and complaining. it is kind of indicative of where they are right now in america. they are so frustrated and angry. they say no to everything. it does not matter who president obama, and i would like to address him as president obama. that is who he is. people do not want to use that on the republican side. it does not matter who he chooses, rather it is someone moderate or someone left and a liberal, they will still complain.
7:19 am
® him all e backlash. as an african-american woman, i hope he chooses a liberal and an african-american or a woman. someone that would satisfy his base. i would hope that our president obama -- i know he is fair minded and tries to seek bipartisan ship and is considered. i hope that he does choose someone. these republicans think that we are not going to fight. we are ready to vote in 2012 and 2016. he is not going to be a onetime president, not if i have anything to do with it. i am ready for the fight just as much as they are. host: what happens if he does not choose a woman, liberal, or minority? what would be your opinion? caller: as long as it is someone who knows the constitution and the lot and willing to look at each case individually and then give a judgment -- i know that
7:20 am
he is a smart president. host: charlie, republican line, in new york. caller: republicans have to learn that democrats alike teenagers. when you are dealing with your teenage children, you have to pick your fights, or else you will be at war with them constantly. 's will replace another liberal judge with another one. nothing is going to change. they cannot get more liberal. they are the court that declared the pledge of allegiance unconstitutional. one more liberal on that court is not going to matter. host: hollywood, florida. democrat line.
7:21 am
caller: i am disgusted with the republicans. i do not like their nature. i think it is supply-side economics and the free market has ruined us economically. this is the invention of right wing philosophy. i think this is the most right wing country in the world. host: how is that related to the battle ahead? caller: i hope and pray it will be a lefty. it has to be a lefty, because alito and roberts seemed something of a miscellamussolint italy. corporate fascists.
7:22 am
that is to put him in power and controls the party. host: this was back in 2009, there was a question about the selection process for the supreme court. which best describes your view if the next justice is a woman. 26% said it was a good idea for it to be a woman. 64% said it does not matter. those with experience as a judge said -- 66% said that was most important. ridgway pennsylvania. go ahead. caller: i am not a registered
7:23 am
republican, but i am a conservative calling. i do not understand when people call in and say as an african- american woman -- i do not know what that has to do with the conversation at all. she is right, he is the president and deserves the respect that comes with his title in office. he has the right to choose anybody he wants. he will choose a liberal. he is not going to replace a liver with a conservative, not when we have a liberal president -- a liberal with a conservative, not when we have a liberal president. the republicans who had the majority when fdr was in office did not do anything about certain things. the republican party will
7:24 am
question and that the nominee properly as they should. if they do not get an up or down vote in congress, they are not following what the constitution says they should do. there is going to be a battle. i hope when the democrats took control of the house and congress, they would do something different. they did not. it was still the same political shenanigans that the republican poll. they proved themselves in effective just as the republicans did. the american people have to realize that we have the power to change our government when ever we want to come every election cycle. we do not need term limits. we can control it, but it will take a huge effort on our part. host: about 8:00, we will be
7:25 am
talking with someone from the politico who is covering the the republican senate leadership conference. and then we will have some tax advice, if you are preparing your taxes this weekend. he may be able to answer some questions you may have that is kevin mccormick ally. we will talk about the worldwide refugee situation after that. texas, independent line. caller: good morning. i think i have the problem solved. there will not be a fight. i think obama should nominate murdoch, and i think we would have a national news media. the tea party and the republicans, conservatives would all be happy.
7:26 am
it would take all the suspense out of any ruling from the supreme court. c'mon, let's do it obama. have a nice weekend. host: minneapolis, minnesota. caller: i have a couple of quick points. please do not cut me off. to the woman that was concerned about a decision where a government or city can confiscate through eminent domain personal property and somewhat to a developer to increase their tax revenue, that decision for most americans was from liberals. all of them on the left and voted for that one. the right did not. she needs to understand that it was liberals that agreed with that, not conservatives. i agree with the man that called in and said you guys start off with democrat, independent, and
7:27 am
then you have democrats, in constantly on the republican line. they are downgrading republicans, george bush. you sit there, and you let them go on and on. you)og never challenged them. you can have programs where you have one will conservative program speaking, and you know what is going on. we know what is going on. i wish other people would call in and complain about it. that is the only time it would stop. with a second, please. your call in lines -- it should said republicans. host: your point on justice stevens, please. caller: i am stating a conservative point of view, a republican point of view. you are trying to shut me down. host: you have done so uninterrupted by me. i am asking you to stick to the points.
7:28 am
caller: the need to have more conservatives. host: you had about one minute and 45 seconds. caller: while, that is a big deal. -- wow, that is a big deal. host: thank you, caller. our guest christopher eisguber is the author of a book "the next justice." what do people not know about him? guest: what they may not appreciate is what an extraordinary lawyer the man is and has been throughout his career. he is unique among the supreme court justices in and doing the first draft of every opinion that comes out of his chambers.
7:29 am
many justices have delegated that to their law clerks. they come in and put their personal stamp on it. justice stevens always said he would retire from the court before he would not be able to write his own opinion. he would be able to do that through age 90. people do not know what an extraordinary gentleman he is. he is a model of stability and politeness. i can tell you a couple of stories about this that would illustrate that. when i was looking for him on an obscure case, it was about the petroleum industry. he did the first draft. i was supposed to fill in some of the fed notes, and it was taken a long time. -- footnotes, and it was taking a long time for me to do that. he said, would it be ok if i
7:30 am
came up to your office? he took a look at the record, and then apologized for disturbing me. there is no other justice on the supreme court who would have made that phone call before walking into the office of a clerk, much less apologizing for an intrusion. and much more public example is a case where a lawyer who had never made a supreme court argument was stammering in front of the court with questions. in response to the questions, at some point the chief justice who was a judge when quizzed got annoyed with him and looked -- a -- renquist
7:31 am
that annoyed with him and said we are called justices not judges. the man was scared stiff. justice stevens tried to make them feel better. host: there are comments about his judicial philosophy in the papers today. some of his opinions may go to the left instead of the right. is that true in your case with your experience working with him? how would you quantify that? caller: when i worked for him, the leaders of the court, their clerks were often upset with justice stevens, because he was a maverick. they regarded us as unreliable allies. sometimes he would vote with
7:32 am
conservatives and sometimes liberals. i think there are issues where there were subtle changes. he himself admits that with regard to the death penalty. he became convinced that there are too many inhumane circumstances surrounding it. the other is affirmative action, where he had a number of opinions early in his career voting with the conservatives. he has now voted more with the liberals, although he has reasons for explaining the consistency of those views. otherwise, what has happened is liberal justices that have retired have been replaced with more conservative justices. someone who was at the center is now one of the liberal side of the court. host: you are quoted in the "baltimore sun" talking about
7:33 am
the next nominee. we have been talking about that this morning. as far as the fight ahead, and as you see some of the major choices other, how much of a fight you think the president will want to get that person in? caller: we say battles about just about any nominee. it was not always so, even in recent memory. the president decided to choose somebody who is regarded as a moderate liberal nominee or a moderate conservative nominee, you would have some vigorous questioning. but the person would be confirmed. over the last 10 years or so, i do not think we have seen that. it is hard to think who president obama could plausibly
7:34 am
nominate, who would have been qualified as a moderate than judge sotomayor. she was nominated by a republican president when she first went on the bench. she had a career as a prosecutor. she had a large number of republican votes against a. i think many would say the same thing about john roberts. at the time he was nominated, many regarded him as one of the more moderate choices that bush would have made. his nomination was very controversial and it attracted some opposition in the senate. the president has a lot of incentive to look for someone who has a pretty clean record. a fight is one thing, a scandal is something else.
7:35 am
he knows he has to put up with a fight. he needs someone with outstanding legal credentials. host: he is the author of "the next justice." thank you for your time. amy howe we acoe is the editor f the scotus blo -- who is the editor of the scotus blog. the president must be bold or play it safe. does that sound right to you? guest: absolutely. there will be a fight. the republicans will protest if he is a liberal. with 59 votes in the senate, he can swing the fences for someone like pam from stamford.
7:36 am
-- standford. host: can you take judge sotomayor, what have you seen as far as her judicial philosophy? how might the president choose his next justice? guest: he went with her, who everyone thought would fit in very well in the court. the court has not issued a lot of opinions, and she has only offered a few. i think she has proven to be exactly what everyone thought she would be. she is more on the liberal wing. host: what does that mean as he chooses the next one? guest: he would be replacing a
7:37 am
member of the liberal wing with moderate to liberal. he will not be swinging the balance on the court. it is a little bit different in terms of who he nominates. justice stevens played a different role in the court and justice david souter. justice stevens has been for 16 years the leader of the court's liberal wing. one of the things he gets to do to assign the opinions, -- the justices vote, they go around the room and talk about the issue. the first justice to go is the chief justice. the next, the most senior, is justice stevens. he put out the liberal view right away. and robert's on the other side,
7:38 am
-- he can assign the opinion to himself or he can assign it some of the supreme justices such as kennedy, to make sure that he keeps that swing justice in the majority and it does not switch over to the other side. in one sense, you replace a moderate to liberal, but in the other sense, you want to replace someone who has been a leader. host: how much will the topics of a woman and that minority clan into this decision? guest: it will not play into this decision in the same way as with justice sotomayor. there was a lot of pressure on the president to name a female justice.
7:39 am
he has a little bit more breathing room in terms of ethnicity and gender. i think he would like to put a third woman on the supreme court. host: our guest is the editor of scotus blog. guest: it is a blot devoted solely to the united states supreme court. -- blog devoted solely to the united states supreme court. host: she will be with us until 8:00 to talk about the election of the next justice. the lawns are on your screen. republican line -- the lines are on your screen. republican line. caller: thanks for taking my call. i have been watching you for quite some time this morning. i would like to say, i am sure the supreme court justice did a
7:40 am
great job. he is 90 years old. he should be able to retire and get a young person a chance perhaps. i would like to say something with the woman that called in about obama. i do respect president obama. i think he is doing a good job, or trying. my question is, why do people say i am a black woman? i am white, but i respect the black woman's struggle. i think people forget that obama is also white. host: i am going to stop the there, because it is away from the conversation we are having. she did make a point about a young girl just as replacing justice stevens. what does that do to the institute -- a young bird justicer justice replacing juste stevens.
7:41 am
what does that do to the institution of the court? guest: it will affect a different era. host: democrats line. i think we should get another justice and and a democratic justice or may be independent. i have trouble trusting independent people. they go wherever the wind blows. i think we should have a woman. i hope it is a black woman. i will not be upset. i think it should be a minority. i'd love to see an american indian as a justice. there seems to be a game in washington. it seems like republicans do not know when to retire their side. it is like watching a baseball game were the keep swinging, but
7:42 am
they refuse to give up. they refuse to let the other side have a turn. you cannot work without rules. people have to obey the rules. they need to step aside and let the democrats go on. host: tell us about the process from here on out. guest: the president will nominate as quickly as possible. this is something they have plenty of fair warning on. he is announcing how quickly he may retire. many candidates have already been vetted the early. -- a thoroughlthoroughly. the senate will be in a session
7:43 am
from mid july to mid august. that would be the ideal opportunity to have confirmation votes to allow the new justice to get ready for work in the fall. i am not sure republicans have any incentive to move things on quickly. it will take a lot of the time of the white house while it is going on. they will not work on other things like jobs and regulatory reform. it'll be interesting to see how it plays out as they tried to move this nomination along where try to slow it down. host: judge sotomayor, 72 days. you are saying this cannot be enough time. guest: i think it will be roughly the same time. republicans will try to slow it down. the senate has a long work frame. if the wait until the senate
7:44 am
comes back in mid september, that would be too late to let the new justice get up to speed. host: midterm elections affect this process? guest: yes, in every conceivable aspect. host: republican line. caller: thanks. it is a pleasure to be speaking with you today. i will limit my comments to the subject. i think the institution of the united states supreme court is the finest institutions we have. i think it is well respected by members of the supreme court on both sides. i am looking for a good supreme court justice, who will follow in the tradition of the united states supreme court, wherever it leads that particular person.
7:45 am
i think the people will be benefited by that sort of selection. if he is liberal, of kaye, he can be liberal. it is just -- ok, he can be liberal. america is well served by the members of the supreme court that we have now. i am a conservative. one of my favorite supreme court justices is thurgood marshall. i think the supreme court is the institution that to really protect us all. i hope it continues to do so. thank you. guest: i share that sentiment. we saw that in 2000. a lot of people were very unhappy with the results in that decision.
7:46 am
in other countries, people may have been found on the streets. everyone said, we do not like the results, but let's get back to work. with regard to the president being able to choose his own nominee, i think a lot of people share that sentiment. there is a natural inclination to turn this into a political fight. diane wood is one of the candidates who is on the short list. she is well respected in the united states court of appeals in chicago. she is very smart and served in the clinton administration in the anti-trust division. she has been a judge for a long time. some think she may be too
7:47 am
liberal. she is a strong proponent of abortion rights which makes the base of the president very happy. kagan has very little paper trail. she was a dean at harvard law school. she won acclaim from both sides of a biological -- ideological perspective is. -- perspectives. she has support from both sides of the file. she is 10 years younger than diane wood. 49 years old compared to 59 years old. host:garland? guest: she is a judge in the d.c. circuit -- he is a judge in
7:48 am
the d.c. circuit. he was part of the oklahoma city prosecution and the unabomber. he could easily be confirmed within a mother snth or so if he were nominated. host: next caller. caller: i am a person looking at this and thinking that president obama has to be very strong with his nomination. he has to do what is right. in the gore/bush the election in florida, i think the supreme court degenerated themselves to
7:49 am
the point that we all lost respect for the supreme court. now it is the chance of president obama to put somebody up on the supreme court has virtue and, i do not know how else to say it. he must put somebody up there who has -- host: we will leave it there. guest: the president has to make a choice. many in his face share the callers sentimen's sentiment. -- many in his base share the caller's sentiment.
7:50 am
some would urge the president to pick a more liberal nominee. it is a choice. host: there was a preference guest today as he talked about it. what does the -- -- eight new wanta nuance reference yesterday that he talked about. what does that mean? guest: [unintelligible] galranrland may share his sentiments financial campaigning. host: north carolina, republican line. caller: it morning, thanks for
7:51 am
taking my call. this is the first time -- good morning, thanks for taking my call. this is the first time i have called. i would like to see a conservative. i would support a moderate. i would hope that the pick is fair. i really do not care if the person is male or female, black or white. we are all americans. i think we sometimes forget that we are all americans. we need to stand for our values. i hope and pray that the best choice for our country is made whether he or she be a republican, democrat, independent, conservative, liberal. i would much rather see a conservative. as long as the choice is good for our country, i think that is the most important thing.
7:52 am
i think people forget that we are americans and we get too fixated on race and all of those things that really should not play as much of a role in the standards that we must live up to. guest: you are not one to get a conservative. you will get someone regardless of their ideological persuasion, they are going to be very smart. host: arizona, democrats line. caller: i believe president obama will choose an incredible replacement, no matter who it is. i will try to be as quick as possible. with the republican that was upset, sometimes i listened and i think, and they can be oversensitive, because they are frustrated with something the
7:53 am
democrats are doing. i do not know who obama is. to put on the court. -- is calling to put on the court. -- is going to put on the court. he is president. he believes that all people are created equal. it does not matter the cover of your skin. the woman that called in and said she is african-american, that does matter. this country used to be rammed by a bunch of white men. -- runned by a bunch of white men. so it doesn't matter. -- so it does matter. host: here is a statement from one person.
7:54 am
the last sentences said it may be more conservative than what we have now. guest: the president is not going to want to go with a big battle. i think he will go with someone who is more moderate. whoever he nominates will probably be slightly more conservative than justice stevens. the big shift could come in what i was talking about earlier, not
7:55 am
in the replacement for stevens as a vote, but the replacement for stevens as someone able to bring the swing justices over t form a majority. host: with this decision by justice stevens, what does this mean for ruth vader ginsburg? guest: -- bader ginsburg? guest: she looked very heanqz one i saw her last. i do not think she is going anywhere. host: next caller. caller: i do not know any names then the ones you mentioned today. as a liberal person, i think there has to be a distinction between the government being involved in health care and the
7:56 am
government' mandating what is healthy to the public. i am hoping that he appoints somebody on the supreme court that is liberal with social issues such as gay rights and even substance abuse -- the use of substance being more liberal. there would be a contradiction between marijuana loaws and something that would come to the court of about taking care of the public's health. i do not know how we can say the new justice is liberal or conservative, because we do not make that distinction.
7:57 am
guest: an interesting comment. host: janet the peloton the pna was she on the short list? guest: i believe she was on the short list. she has probably dropped out of contention because of her comment that the system worked after the underwear bomber on christmas day. i think that occur out of the lineup. host: what are possibilities that we have not discussed? guest: the governor of
7:58 am
michigan, amy is a possibility, a senator from minnesota. she has a strong law and order background. she is only 49 years old. she could sit on the court for a long time. she is a democratic senator. that could be enough to knock her out of contention. another justice who was on the supreme court of georgia, a young african-american woman. and another possibility is someone from michigan. host: and hillary clinton. guest: that is a wild card. host: last call, austin tx. caller: this question of liberal
7:59 am
and conservative andthe la-- thn the course is not the same as political. -- court is not the same as political. they go against the principles -- in the florida case, they would not let the state decide how their own people are elected. there was a tie, it should have gone to gore. anyway, are you familiar with a gentleman? guest: he is director of office of management and budget and a professor at harvard law school. he is in his 50's.
8:00 am
he is described as a liberal but a minimalist. he made some comments during the bush administration supporting its on executive power and the civil liberties that did not endear him to liberals. he is -- if he were in the mix, i would be surprised if he were a nominee. host: can you tell us more about this process as it goes on? guest: there may be a mixture of be will torment and amusement hamas -- bewildered mement and amusement. .
8:01 am
washingt"washington s. >> what in the world is more ridiculous than american politics? the last year using clips from various media outlets the gregory brothers are viral hit makers with auto-tune the news.
8:02 am
we will talk with them sunday night. this weekend on pap 2. sunday the war on terror. democracy in india. her note is field notes on democracy. and ralph peters looks at u.s. fortune policy in his latest collection of articles "endless war." go to and follow us on twitter. host: you have probably seen from our coverage and writings that the republicans are gathering in new york. joining them is ben smith from politico. on the politico today you have a story about sarah palin in response to the response she got from the southern republican
8:03 am
leadership conference. what was that response? guest: in a way it was split. she was clearly the rock star with a dominant figure, in fact two of the people really running for president skipped the event in part for fear of being overshadowed by her. and she was greeted with shouting, standing ovations. particularly harsh attacks on barack obama were welcomed. as she left the stage people were scream being we love you, sarah, run, sarah, run. but when you talk to people, including people who are running up to the stage scream being "we love you sarah" we love you. do you want her to run for president? maybe not. maybe she will be ready at some other time. both from the fan base up through the sort of more like the local officials i think republicans are growing
8:04 am
comfortable with the notion of sarah palin as kind of a party spokesperson lead attack dog and celebrity public figure and coming to the conclusion that doesn't mean she has to run for president. host: talk a little bit about her response you have seen major people who would be key republican candidates not showing up, what does that show of people heading to 2010? guest: i think there are only two people seriously running for president, that is mitt romney and tim posselenty. there are others but the party is very focused on the 2010 mid terms and also just in the way of presidential elections they are trying to figure out how strong or weak obama is going to be looking, how the economy will be doing.
8:05 am
so the result is that the party is sort of waking up at a moment when four years ago there was a real heated competition already to run for president with a very small thin field. host: ben smith will be with us to talk about the meeting going on. if you have questions for him the numbers are on the screen. >> now we have the makings of the obama doctrine. which is coddling enemies and alienating allies. the administration eased sanctions on cuba and sided with saefs commence honduran democracy. they won't bring up human rights with china because they already know what they are going to say. they offer tepid conditions and
8:06 am
sanctions on gold stars and cookies to the sudanese presidents. they send letters to iranian mullahs but can barely muster a word of support for the green movement. those in iran seeking freedom and women's rights barely uttering a word of support for that. now, the president with all of the vast nuclear experience that he acquired as a community organizer -- [cheers and applause] >> and as a part-time senator and as a full-time candidate, still to accomplishment to date with north korea and iran. host: ben smith, an extensive talk on foreign policy. was that expected? guest: this was as close to a policy speech as i think i have seen her since the last week of the presidential campaign where in a panic they said it was literally the last week they
8:07 am
decided they should be giving more substantive peaches to be seen as a more substantive person and this speech had a lot of policy in it. she talked more about oil and energy and the importance of drilling more and mining more than hero did about foreign policy. but she did have this increasingly sharp critique of foreign policy which closely echoed what liz cheney said the day before the notion that obama is hard on enemies and soft on allies. one incident that both mentioned they both said obama, it was inappropriate for him to criticize the afghan president in a recent time, you know, which i think struck a lot of people as surprising because a lot of american foreign policy people increasingly think of him as an unreliable ally. it was a odd person for sarah
8:08 am
palin to calendars her lot with. host: some papers say it is ok to be the party of no then newt gingrich saying be the party of yes. what were the differences? guest: i think that is exaggerated. this sort of palin and others said we are fine being the party of no. bobby jindal the governor of louisiana said in healthcare we should be the party of hell no and newt gingrich said we should be the party of no but. i oppose the plan but here is my positive skwrefrpbd and they should be laying out a more positive agenda. i think the reality is they have been doing both for a while. opposing basically everything that comes down the pike while trying to articulate a positive agenda. it is not that easy to articulate the positive agenda when you are in the opposition in congress and nobody really cares what legislation you are
8:09 am
introducing because it has no hope of passing. host: our guest is with us to talk about the events of the southern republican leadership conference. we are covering that live today at 1:00. the first call is from bethlehem, new york, republican line. caller: actually, i'm in buffalo. host: sorry about that. caller: that is all right. i want to say first of all i identify myself as a member of the tea party movement. i do agree with some of the things obama has done, for example the current nuclear agreement that he discussed with russia. i don't think that palin has a grasp on that because when she appeared on hannity she said ronald reagan wouldn't have done that, which is not the case because he did say during his presidency he wanted to reduce the nuclear supplier, the nuclear capability by one-third just like obama is doing. so people in the tea party movement or anywhere else to say
8:10 am
because of this he is a socialist or putting us in danger is not true if you look at the full agreement, what it means is we still have first strike capability. that has not condition extinguish extinguished. if iran or north korea attack us we have the ability to attack them with nuclear weapons because they are not in compliance with the nuclear proliferation treaty. so, we are not in as much danger as people would like to think aware. and personally i don't see sarah palin as a strong leader. host: ben smith, our call referenced herself as a member of the tea party. how have they shaded this year's conference as opposed to years past? guest: i think their existence and deep hostility, the caller accepted the president and within sort of a broader grassroots certainly has sharpened everybody's tone at this gathering and just in the republican party in general.
8:11 am
what was interesting about your ca caller is i think what the poll is finding a lot of people who you expect to support palin demographically or if you were to slice up the populace don't necessarily support palin. there was a poll out yesterday saying 51% of americans would less likely to vote for somebody who palin campaigned for, 25% would be more likely. that was a fox news poll. that is a very bad number. host: fort worth, texas, is next, barbara. caller: i think palin is one of the most misinformed human beings i have ever heard and one thing i have had problems with her forever is alaska has the highest per capita take of our taxpayer money of any other state in the union and why she, with her feelings on that, why she didn't stay in office and
8:12 am
take care of that problem i never have understood. perry, from texas, and i'm from texas, i listened to him and nearly died. we have one of the lowest records as far as healthcare and educati education, and he has given nearly every contract for road work and for other things of that nature to foreign companies here in texas -- to foreign countries and their companies. and newt gingrich, my god! his history tells it all. and how anybody could vote for these people who have gotten us into this mess to carry on and keep this mess going i just do not understand it. it is beyond me. host: mr. smith. guest: well, there is the notion that i mean more often on
8:13 am
a national level it is president bush than governor perry should be blamed for the continuing recession or the recently ended recession, depending on who you ask. obviously it makes a lot of sense but people don't, for whatever reason in the polling right now and just sort of public opinion, the blame has shifted to the incumbent president and to obama. so, i think any continued economic troubles will be -- he's going to take the blame for it. any improvement he will own and get credit for. it is always the sort of strangeness of presidencies that the economy which they have only marginal control over basically determines their success or failure but i think that is happening here. host: ben smith, in "new york times" a story about mitt romney on a book tour and talks about his efforts in massachusetts on passing healthcare and his criticism of the president's
8:14 am
current version of healthcare and what parallels can be made. what will that mean for him going forward if he decides to run for president again? guest: he is running for president again as a matter of fact and it is tricky. just right before healthcare passed he went out with this push including op-eds by his senior aides in massachusetts and went on television trying to position himself as the leading opponent of obama care, and then also to explain once and for all why mass care is so different. the problem is mass care as a matter of fact there's this strand of how do you get near universal coverage while keeping it in the private sector. there are a lot of moving parts and there is a history of this kind of plan and one of the real testing grounds was massachusetts and it is undeniable the intellectual
8:15 am
heritage of the current plan is romney's plan. what he will say, and there are two not so obvious architects about his is different. one is his plan doesn't raise taxes which is not traditional to how it works. some of the financing is coming from the tax of healthcare plans but it doesn't strike me as a central objection. the second thing is his is at the state level and obama's is at the federal level. certainly it is true his is a state plan and obama's's is federal plan. if the principle you are standing up for is sort of -- if you view this as socialism but you are attached to the principle that states should be allowed to impose social inch and the federal government shouldn't, i suppose you would be relieved by that. the problem is the audience he is i trying to talk to hates the plan, not just the notion of a federal plan but this particular
8:16 am
plan. so, they don't get all that much comfort that he was working to impose it on the state level. and until recently he was really quite heatedly defending the success of the plan in massachusetts, which is worth noting has given massachusetts as close to universal coverage as anywhere in the country. host: bob on the republican line, granger, indiana. caller: good morning. he is drafting a statement, nothing to be happy about. you should point out this politico is a left wing group, they are a constant source on many social and now becoming communists on the other channel. it ought to have a little fair and balanced here. and as far as newt gingrich is a very intelligent man and he has obama pecked right to the core.
8:17 am
this guy is a social ills. host: we will leave it there. mr. smith, if you want to respond. guest: socialist becoming communist. i think i will pass on that. but it is true that mass care is expensive, isn't totally paid for. it is quite popular in massachusetts. state governments everywhere are struggling. but it doesn't look like there's going to be a repeal of that in massachusetts or any sort of massive scale back. host: ben smith, the folks there are are going to hear from michael steele later today. given the stories about him the last few weeks, is that reception, what is it going to be like? >> he once again has lurched to a kind of stability. this is a republican crowd and sort of an establishment republican crowd so i think he will get a reasonably warm reception. and he's again stopped the bleeding although in a way he
8:18 am
seems to not almost want that controversy around him to stop. yesterday his allies sent out a letter with just over half the state party chairmening him so it just enough to stay in office but another round of will steele survive stories. on one hand it is hard to dislodge the state party chairman. you need a two-thirds majority and sort of emergency vote of the group. so i think republicans are increasingly, even those who don't like him reconciling themselves to the fact that he will stick around want host: our coverage of the conference starts at 1b:00 toda live on c-span. new york city, independent line. you are next. caller: yes. you are -- did you see you are the senior political analyst at politico? is that correct? guest: something like that, writer, reporter. not analyst.
8:19 am
caller: and you don't think that mitt romney is running for president? you are unsure about that? guest: no, i'm sure he is. you misheard me. caller: ok. what is the big deal with sarah palin? i just don't get why you folks are so obsessed with her. sure, she quit being governor of alaska. that puts the kibosh of any thoughts of her being president. but i want to know what the media obsession is with her. guest: well, i won't deny that there is a level of pure media buzz around her and her family that isn't necessarily connected to her political standing, but at the same time she energizes and excites the republican party just so much more and so much unlike any other character in that party right now. john mccain was drawing crowds of hundreds of people through 2008, tiny crowds until she
8:20 am
showed up and the change in his campaign was just so clear. suddenly there would be 10,000 people at a rally for john mccain and people were excited to vote for that ticket -- not enough people but there is a real serious segment of the republican party for whom she's this very large, very compelling figure and there is nobody else like that on that side of the aisle right now. host: merchant yet that, california, howard on the rug line. caller: well, good morning, pedro. ben, how are you? guest: good morning. caller: pedro, what are we talking about this morning? we are all over the map. i thought we were talking about sarah palin, but do you have something going on there? host: it is the southern republican leadership conference and she was a speaker there. it has been reported on, we have been covering it. caller: that is fine. we were off with the ex-governor of massachusetts.
8:21 am
a couple of quick things and i will be out of here, pedro. i'm an old conservative republican that, when i see sarah palin on stage with a riff of political talking points with that smile and that charm and that glorious effervescence that she presents, with the republican talking points, it is irritating as hell for all the liberal democrats because what is she saying? she is saying this president has failed on this particular issue, this particular issue. right or wrong, it is irrelevant. she is refreshing, she is delightful. she has no chance to be president of the united states. but she's so refreshing. thank you, pedro. guest: you know, i think what he said is a great point. i think that it is possible to adore her and not think that she should be president, which i
8:22 am
think is his position. i think that is increasingly she is this major republican figure but it is ok not to talk about her being president. host: columbus, georgia. democrats line. duncan. caller: good morning. thanks for taking my call. host: you are on. tkpwhrao thank you. this sarah palin, personally i don't have anything against her and don't know the lady other than what the media has portrayed her to be. but personally i think everybody knows she was a political disaster for john phmccain. her political aptitude is just about zero. the media have a tendency of building individuals up, sensationalizing them for good and bad. and if it is something they feel they can go with for, i guess, ratings or what have you, they
8:23 am
do. but just like the caller said before, everybody is aware of that. she is not electable to be president and the rest of it is sore loser, child like behavior and it i is causing a great dea of divisiven. she gets on television an tries to clean up the little non sese, the shoot and reload some crap about the folks, you know, just crazy with this nonsense of just being straight up against this president. host: do you have a question for our guest? caller: well, what is his view on her being at the forefront of the so-called tea party spews
8:24 am
hatred and causing divisiveness? host: mr. smith. guest: i think a lot of the kind of notion, a lot of the sense of the tea party movement is being sort of fundamentally about hate there is some exaggeration will. it is to some degree a line the democrats are pushing. but at the same time yesterday palin felt obliged to support the don't retreat, reload. she said jokingly democrats just want you to think about violence. it is a funny moment to be joking about that because i think there were two men arrested last week for physical threats against members of congress. there was a guy at -- i'm not sure if she was on hannity but hannity was appearing -- fox news's hannity was talking at --
8:25 am
had assembleed a crowd for his show at the conference yesterday and there was a guy holding up a sign that said don't retreat, reload and there was a picture of a handgun on it. i think that is rhetoric that reasonably makes people nerves. host: tim polenty is going to address them by video. is he part of the buzz? guest: pawlenty and romney are not like towering over the place in their absence. you will hear both names occasionally. people sort of with romney spent a lot of money giving free tickets to people who support romney who will vote in a value poll and pawlenty has no real presence. and that is why nobody is really talking about him because the republicans are not buzzing about him or either of them.
8:26 am
i think a lot of republicans are sort of looking around and on within hand focused on 2010 and on the other hoping some new person will emerge to run for president. host: tell us more about the straw poll. who is on the list and how does it work? guest: many of the conventions have straw polls which are for paying guests at the convention. they are notoriously increasingly not connected to the broader republican party's views or necessarily this segment of the republican party's views or the conservative political action congress in washington a man who gets very few votes but has a very intense and loyal base of support that cares enough to show up and pay $100 to vote in a straw poll and support him that way. palin, i think, will have a lot of support here because people really like her and she is on the ballot. as are pawlenty and romney, as
8:27 am
is make pence a congressman from indiana who i think has been toying with running for president. rick perry, the governor of texas, asked not to be on the ballot as did bobby jindal the governor of louisiana. most think it will be between ron paul and sarah palin. host: bobby jindal flatly said he is not running then made his remarks. guest: he kind of joked that he was not running and allowed him to insult everybody who was not from louisiana. host: baton rouge is next, republican line, john. caller: yes, i got a couple of questions for the guest. one of them is, did he vet obama as much as he did sarah palin before the election? and if he had have, we wouldn't have all of these communists and
8:28 am
radicals and racists in the white house. and another question is, has sarah ever said anything that wasn't the truth at the rally in new orleans? guest: let's see. i find the notion that the media failed to vet obama a little bit perplexing. i am not sure what the sort of major revelations about his record that emerged after the election that would have changed it are. and the things that -- the thing that is now being primarily denounced as socialist the healthcare plan is the sort of things republicans, i.e. mitt romney were campaigning on a few years ago and it was hardly snuck under the radar. it was the subject of endless debates among democrats which
8:29 am
obama was mostly coming from the right against hillary clinton and on the the intricate details of the plan. so, that certainly the notion that this was the sort of healthcare plan he was going to hope to pass and that was a major priority shouldn't -- was not news to anybody who was reading the coverage of the campaign. host: our last call on topic and our independent line, tampa, florida. caller: yes. sarah palin is a good rabble rouser but i question her qualifications to run for anything. first of all, she is a quitter. she quit her governor sheship o alaska and she is just like george w. bush. i remember when bush ran for president in 2000 and a reporter asked him to name the top leaders in europe and asia he didn't know. so got softwaarcastic and asked reporter do you know the names like charlie gibson asked palin what the bush doctrine was and
8:30 am
she snapped back. they may be fun at a barbecue or party but either one i don't believe knows the difference between social inch and rheumatism. guest: not all of these politicians and presidential candidates are geniuses. but most -- but if you are going to run for president -- and bush are for his failings as an intellect at times or as a scholar, did study hard and i think that basically if you are going to try to be a serious figure on the national stage and particularly run for president you have to learn about federal governs and things you may not known about the senate or the way medicaid and medicare work. and there is no sign that palin has subjected herself to that kind of intensive few torls and -- tutorials and study. i don't think there is any reason she couldn't but she
8:31 am
hasn't. host: what is the story line you are following today? >> michael steele is speaking and it will be interesting to see how he is received and the sense in the audience here in new orleans of wouldn't it be nice if there were somebody else. maybe there is somebody else out there feeling around for another presidential candidate. host: a couple of folks on twitter talked about mitch daniels. any indication or rumblings about him? guest: yes rb, he is seep as a serious person and accomplished governor, somebody who can kind of stand on stage with obama. and somebody who went from saying he was absolutely not running for president saying he would rather not talk about it. so i think he is almost first in that rank of maybe candidates who folks are getting increasingly excited about. host: our guest at the senior political reporter for politico. ben smith joining us from new orleans.
8:32 am
thanks for your time especially early in the morning. guest: thank you. host: if you know what this form is and you probably do, it is the 1040. if it is empty like this one and you are concerned you may not get it done by next week today may be your lucky day. our next person is skilled in that issue and can give you last-minute advice and tips on filling it out. >> let's meet another with winner from the student cam competition. we asked middle and high school students to share thoughts on one of our country's greatest strengths or a challenge the country is facing. we speak with our third prize winner hunter gill from colorado. hunter, welcome to c-span and congratulations on your win. >> thank you. >> why did you select recovering our greatest strength as your title? >> america's greatest strength is our ability it speak our minds. our founding fathers gave us the
8:33 am
right in hopes we would use it in per suit of truth but unfortunately people have lost sight of this goal as they use free speech for selfish reasons instead of the colon good which is the basic of the government. but it is our challenge to learn from the ancient greeks who loved learning so much they were eager to listen to the arguments of others. now, i needed a title that summed all of this up in a phrase which is why rediscovering our greatest strength seemed like the best answer. >> you used the term logical dialogue. what is it and why is it important? >> logical dialogue is a conversation between two different people where they argue with arguments that are justifiable with reason. and they are able it listen to each other's arguments and hopefully be able to resolve their differences. but at the very least are able
8:34 am
to come to an acceptable equilibrium. >> what role does media play in helping us rediscover our greatest strength? >> media has less to do with rediscovering our greatest strength and more with addressing our greatest challenge. channels that present unbiased information like are especially important especially for those who wish to obtain knowledge about today's khalts. >> what do you want viewers it take away from your documentary? >> if my viewers are at least able to understand the importance of a love of learning, of taking responsibility for their own education as well as the importance of speaking rationally rather than with emotions i feel like i have completed my goal. >> how can people improve on their dialectric particular skills? >> by reading the great books of the western world because it is one big conversation. but really just learning about
8:35 am
dialogues just participating in dialogues, discussing different ideas or studying some greek philosophers. but most importantly being able to think and reason and to be able to search for truth and to be able to keep an open mind as well as just being able to think for ourselves are all giant steps in the right direction. >> how long did it take you to complete this documentary start to finish? >> it took me about three months from start to finish. but it will definitely be a nice addition to i have an entire series of videos all relating to education and reading that you can find on books of y2k and additional footage i was unable to put in the final cut. >> you mentioned your archive. you placed third last year in student cam competition.
8:36 am
how did that placing help you this year with your documentary? >> well, it was certainly encouraging and i got to learn a bit of my strengths and some of my weaknesses both of which i worked on and hopefully make a better video this year than last year. >> you received $750. what will you do with the winnings? >> well, i hope to upgrade my software to make better videos in the future. >> hunter, thank you and congratulations on your win. here is a short clip of hunter's documentary. >> are the owe posting sides as do >> if you take the vass majority of people they don't know. because they get their news from tv it is kind of a passive ok i heard what is going on. news, sports and weather. what is the like about that?
8:37 am
>> to watch his entire documentary and all the winning videos go to host: as promised, we are going to give you some last-minute advice on filling out federal taxes. there is a story in the paper today about concerns or maybe confusion about something called the make work pay credit. could you tell our viewers what that is and how it might affect them? guest: it was a big part of the stimulus bill. in 2008 they sent us checksor $500 to stimulate the economy. last year they told all of our employers to take a little less out of each paycheck and wraoused withholding. every person who works was supposed to get a $400 withholding. married couples $800. when you file the return you have to take the making work pay credit. file schedule m with the return and the i.r.s. discovered
8:38 am
millions are not taking it. it is new. they know they got the benefit through the reduced withholding. the key is they have to reduce the tax bill by claim being the credit by that $400 or $800. otherwise a higher tax bill will pull back the benefit. the i.r.s. is reprogramming the computers because it can figure out if you report income from a job or self-employment you deserve the credit unless the income is too high. so the i.r.s. is automatically adding $400 or $800 to a the lot of refunds. if you forgot to file the schedule m wait until you get the refund to see if you get the extra money. if you get it and it is not more than you expected or if you owed money you need to file a 1040-x amended federal return and claim this credit and the i.r.s. will send you $400 or $800 but i'm getting people saying it is too good.
8:39 am
>> that is available on line. >> host: just fill it out. guest: you need to file the 1040-x amended federal return. that is a pretty easy schedule. you report with taxable income you showed on on the original 140 and clam this credit reducing the tax bill by $400 or $800. send it and they should process it in about eight weeks. if you already filed and forgot it, be patient. see if the i.r.s. catches the mistake. host: are there other credits or anything on it that filers should take note of before they send the envelope? guest: the toughest thing about taxes is men and women in this building keep adding more breaks to take care of taxpayers and one of the big ones this year is the college credit. everybody who has had kids in college knows the hope credit and it is only good the years your son or daughter is a
8:40 am
freshman or sophomore. that is is not true for 2009. they renamed the hope credit the american opportunity credit and it is good for all four years. so parent with juniors an seniors should be claiming the american opportunity credit, $2,500 per kid. if your son or daughter goes to college in one of seven midwestern states, instead of the american opportunity credit worth $2,500 you get a hope credit on steroids worth $3,600 because they want to encourage kids to go back to school in the midwest after the floods of 2008. so don't assume what you did last year. you probably have more money coming. host: and taxpayers know this but will the computer programs know that a lot of people use these days? guest: they are terrific on this. this is one thing the programmers know. they plug all of had in. if you use a program you would get that making work pay credit because as soon as you enter
8:41 am
that you have wage or employment income any of the programs will automatically figure it out. most taxpayers can actually use tax software for free if they go to if your income is below $57,000 there is a free program online and prepare the return and it will catch the credits if you answer the questions correctly. be patient. go through the interview system. if you tell the computer the right information you will get the right answer. host: with wilmington, north carolina. john. caller: i have a question about gift taxes. we are trying to purchase a house and qualifying for a loan, and my spouse wants -- we are buying the house as my spouse invitationly and want to know how -- individually and want to know how we declare income that
8:42 am
i deposit in my spouse's individual account to account for qualifying for a higher mortgage amount using the gift tax? guest: first of all, the gift tax almost never comes into play. when if is owed it is owed by the giver, not the recipient and between spouses there is no gift tax. you can give any amount without ever worrying about that. i think your issue probably is with the mortgage lender, not with the federal government. they want to see that she has income in her account and you may have to sign a gift heard. lenders often require that this is a gift because they are concerned about her having enough income to pay back the north. don't worry about the federal tkpwoeuft tax. host: new york city. maurice. go ahead. are you there? caller: hello. tkpwhr go ahead, sir. caller: yes.
8:43 am
i fill my tax out and i get pwaback -- they charged me $250. i don't know why. i have been calling and calling and can't get no response from nobody to explain the situation to me. guest: who charged you $250 the people who prepared your return? caller: yes, sir. i go to the tax people and to fill it out, but i.r.s. never accepted me a letter or anything that anything is wrong. they just withhold $250. so, i don't know how to get in touch with them because the number i get to call nobody answers. guest: a couple of things i suggest. first i suggest you go back to whoever prepared the return and ask them to explain the problem. if you paid for that, they should do that as part of the
8:44 am
service. what often happens we a taxpayer requests a refund, the i.r.s. will run the numbers. there might have been a mathematical error. you should have gotten a letter saying you asked for $1,000 and we gave you $750 because of an error. if you had a tax debt you owed or old student loans or child support this are programs that the federal government will reduce your refund to pay some of the old debts like florida the first step is to go back to whoever prepared the return, explain that you got less than you expected and ask them to pla explain it. host: jonesboro, arkansas, lee. caller: good morning. i had a question about health insurance related to taxes. i was wondering if i was to not get health insurance and go ahead and do taxes, what kind of fines are they going to levy
8:45 am
against me? i have heard something about if you keep letting this happen year after year that you could go to jail and i want to know what the truth behind that was. i thought you could tell me what the i.r.s. thugs might be doing knocking at my door. guest: that has to do with the healthcare reform just passed. i believe it is 2014 or 2017, pretty far before the individual mandate would come into effect to require everybody to have insurance and if they didn't they would have to pay a tax fine and they are still working this out. i believe one of the numbers i have seen is $750 a year for a single person could be fined if he or she didn't have insurance. one problem that the policy makers have is insurance is probably going to cost you more than $750 so there is a worry the fine is not high enough to encourage people to get insurance. this will be sorted out the next few years. keep an eye on it but don't
8:46 am
worry about it this year. that won't would go into effect three to four years. the only tax that goes in effect right away is on tanning booths. if you go to an indoor tanning salon starting in july there is a 10% ex-don't size -- excise tax. host: credits for buying a home and upgrading your house, how do they factor in? >> huge. first-time home buyers credit a lot of confusion and questions. there was a credit of 2008 for 7,500. first-time home buyer it means anybody who didn't own a home in the three years prior to the time they bought the new home. 2008 credit was $7,500 based on 10% of the home. that has to paid back by claim in wait. they have to add $500 starting next year. the 2009 credit $8,000 and never
8:47 am
has to be paid back. the credit in effect right now anybody to signs a contract by april 30 and closes on the home by june 30 can get this $8,000 credit. if you buy a house this week, next week you can claim the credit on your 2009 return even if you have already filed. you can file the 100-x. if you file an amended return the i.r.s. will send you $8,000. it is huge. higher income levels it is phased out but the home buyer credit is great. adding energy efficient appliances -- not appliances -- yes, air conditioners, furnaces, new windows, a 30% credit up to $1,500 that you claim on the 2009 return. that same credit is in effect for 2010. so if you make the improvements this year you can claim it on the 2010 return next spring. but if you made them in 2009 make sure you claim the credit dollar for dollar reduction in taxes. there is the $1,500 limit on
8:48 am
furnaces, air contingent canner. if you put in a solar or geothermal. i have a person who is putting in a geothermal system, 30% no limit the taxpayer will pay 30%. so, solar, geothermal, wind and that is in effect. host: huntington, new york. go ahead. caller: yes. i have -- i have a court suit pending where i'm supposed to get a large sum of money in an accident that i recently had about six years ago. i went national hospital, two months in the hospital and i'm still paying for the bill that i had which is 10% out of my
8:49 am
paycheck off the top of my paycheck. and brought in a lawyer and they put a lawsuit against the property owner whose property i fell on. and now from what i understand the case went to court and it was settled but i'm still waiting for the money that is supposed to be paid into that. that is a very large sum of money. guest: the question is, is the taxability of the award and it depends on the cause of the accident but anything that goes toward paying the health bills would be tax free. there is a big change in the way this works. in the past the your lawyer will take of the settlement which is probably between a third and half of the money, in the fast you had to deduct that as a
8:50 am
miscellaneous itemized deduction and there are complications so people really end up paying tax on more than she shouthey shoul. but whatever portion the lawyer takes will reduce the taxable portion you have to pay. but be careful. some of it might be taxable and some tax free. you owe nothing for 2009 since you don't have the money. we you get that settlement it is time to sit down with the lawyer and if he is not a tax specialist get a tax specialist. host: tallahassee, florida. kim, good morning. caller: good morning. i have three questions. i'm a student at f.s.u. and i was wopbgd -- wonder iing, i bu an r.v. if i get a tax credit. guest: no, if it is a motorized r.f. you can't. if it is a mobile home attached to the ground it is available but motorized properties the answer is no. question two.
8:51 am
host: also, when i get the rebate from last year i was in iraq, i was out of the country. so i want to know how -- because you don't pay income tax when you are out of the country. how would i get that money and i want to know if i have to pay capital gains on the money that i received on my investments we i was out of the country. guest: the question on the reba rebate, i'm not sure how you get that money. i can't recall -- i believe you could claim that rebate on your tax return. you may need to file an amended 2008 return to get last year's rebate. on the question of capital gains it depend on your income. for 2009 people with income below a certain level the capital gains rate is zero percent. that is about $35,000 on a single return and if you had combat pay that will be tax free so that will hold down your tackable income. anybody who has capital gains,
8:52 am
if you have capital gains which is investment profit, long term mean you owned it more than a year you don't figure the tax bill using the tax tables. there is a special worksheet in the schedule d instructions where you apply either the 15% for long-term or zero. you don't go to the regular tax tables. so this caller i think when she works through the worksheet a good chance she will find there are no taxes on the capital gains. host: sinclair, michigan. maria. you are next. caller: good morning. how are you, pedro. i enjoy listening and watching you. and i have a quick question for kevin. i watched a little bit late this morning and i just called the first few minutes of what the gentleman was saying about 10 minutes ago before the phone calls. it was about the tax credit and i have already filed. what was he talking about?
8:53 am
guest: the making work pay credit is the one worth $400 if you are single, $800 if you are married filing jointly and you had to have earned income from a job or self employment this. is on schedule m. probably millions are overlooking this credit. it is new. first time it has applied. if you missed it my suggestion succeed wait until you get the refund from the i.r.s. there is a good chance the i.r.s. will automatically add $400 or 800 to the refund. if you owed taxes when you filed you will need to file a 140 140. but don't file another return until the first one is settled. that can foul things up. so, be patient, see what you get back from the i.r.s. if you don't get the credit and deserve it you should file an amended return and get the $400 or $800 refund. host: d.c., walter. good morning. you are on.
8:54 am
caller: good morning, sir. i have one question. i have already filed and i will wait for the refund. but i got a $10,000 gift from my aunt out of her will. do i have to file that as income? guest: no, inheritance is always tax free. only exception is people who inherit an i.r.a. or annuity they have to pay the same way the original owner. but if it is a gift, inheritance from anybody, whether a relative or not, that is tax free. you don't report it. host: thoeufl anthony asks what is the penalty for filing returns if you are married and living together? guest: there is no penalty. most people save money by filing jointly the way the system works. the vast majority of people save money filing jointly. about the only people i have ever seen who can benefit filing separately, married couples is if one spouse has huge medical
8:55 am
bills because medical costs are deductible only to the extent they exceed 7.5% of the income so if one has huge bills and low income they may get a deduction. for most people they should file jointly or if you got tax program either free one or one you bought you can figure it out both ways. it is not difficult to run it both ways and it is fine to does whichever saves you the most. host: this one asks -- guest: no, the $6,340 is tax free. social security is always tax free as long as your income is under $25,000. that wouldn't be taxable if you don't have any earned income from a job or you don't deserve the making work pay credit so you don't have to file for that. sometimes people need to file even if they don't owe taxes.
8:56 am
in this situation it doesn't sound like it since there are no earnings. i think you would be be save not filing. host: cecilia from kentucky. marian. caller: yes, i have a question about the first time home buyer. i inherited half my haas from my mother and my brother got the other half. i purchased his half. guest: you really have to buy a new house to do that. the fact that you bought half the house from your bother you don't qualify. that doesn't work. we have a series of questions on the new home buyer credit on our website. i think we probably answered a couple hundred questions like this. if you have a computer you can go there. any of the viewers can see all of these permutations of the credit. a lot of questions. if you bought before november 7, for example, you could buy from an in-law and get the credit. after november 6 you can't buy
8:57 am
from an in-law. there is a huge opportunity here we you have an $8,000. most new home buyers qualify but there are a few when congress said no. host: the website if you want to check out those questions and more you mentioned it early but is where you get more information on forms and things of that nature. buffalo, new york. joseph. caller: sir, i would like to ask two questions. one is, i will be 70 1/2 a year from now and have to -- i will be not penalized but i have to take money out of my thrift savings from the equivalent to an i.r.a. from the government. do i personally have to inform the investor where i have that money invested that i will be 70
8:58 am
1/2 and they then send me the money? the second question is, what might i reinvest that money in to sort of offset the tax liability on that withdrawal? guest: this is called a required minimum distribution based on your life expectancy and you are correct, you must start taking money out of an i.r.a. or 401-k the year you turn 70 1/2. the plan knows how old you are and you need to tell them how much to take because they won't automatically give you the minute. you need to contact the savings plan. they can figure out what your minimum distribution is from the rules but you have to realize if you have other money someplace like an i.r.a. a minimum amount has to come out of that as well so you need to figure this out. there is an i.r.s. publication 590 that has a table in the
8:59 am
back, i think appendix 3 that has the percentage you have to take out to meet the minimum distribution requirements. whatever you take out will be taxed as income in that year. if you are 70 1/2 in 2010, you don't have to take moan out -- i'm sorry, you said 2011. the first distribution can be as late as april 1 of the following year so you can go until 2012 before you have to take anything out so be careful about that. as to where you reinvest it, it depends on where your other investments are. if you are trying to avoid taxation on it, an annuity maybe an idea if you need to defer the tacks more the capital gains property has low tax rates. zero percent for some. but that depends on other investments an i you need to sit down and look at the entire financial picture. host: because of the economic situation in the united states people had to cash in 401-k's and i.r.a.'s, what is the
9:00 am
penalty? guest: nothing is simple. from an i.r.a. before 59 1/2 there's a 10% penalty and it is taxable. if you lost or quit the job and tack it out of a 401-k 55 is the money age that the penalty disa's. i.r.a. is 59 1/2. everything you take out is penalized, tax and peoplized. some exceptions to the penalty for example if you weren employed for more than 12 weeks and used the i.r.a. or 401-k to buy medical insurance that part of the distribution no penalty. still taxed. taken out early to buy a first home, tax bud not penalized up to $10,000. if you took money out of the plans don't assume you owe the penalty. host: roseville, michigan. good morning. amanda. guest: i heard you say a little while ago as far as the tax credit goes on first home
9:01 am
buyers, you said -- my right when you said that it doesn't necessarily have to mean your very first house, it just means that within the last three years you had bought a house? because my point is that right before everything broke down we closed on a house september right before it happened on september 5 and purchased a hoehome with inheritance money. would we qualify for that in guest: september 5 of what year, 2009? host: 2008, i believe. right before everything melted do down. .
9:02 am
host: here is an e-mail. guest: guestit is pretty easy fr most people. it is 100% taxable. a traditional ira is what we are talking about. if you have a $5,000 of after-
9:03 am
tax money and $100,000 was the total amount. 5% of any distribution would be tax-free. if a portion of the distribution is tax-free. the ira sponsor does not know how much money is tax free or if you got some somewhere else. when you take ira distributions, you have to look at every one your own, put it together and determine what is tax free. host: how many questions measure publication get on this? guest: hundreds. from december to next week, we get hundreds of questions from our readers. they are very inquisitive people.
9:04 am
i enjoy of problems like this because it forces me to stay on my toes. i am not an accountant. i am a journalist. i have learned a as to these questions as a result. host: what did they have to do to file by next week? guest: the vast majority of people get refunds. the average is $3,000 for 2009. if you have a refund coming,f cn ignore the the one with a penalty. the penalty is a percentage of the tax that you go with your return. if you owe money, you need to file form 4868 a 6 month extension. it pushes the deadline to october 15. if you file that by midnight april 15, you cannot be hit with the failure to file penalty. you will still be charged
9:05 am
interest on any tax euro after april 15. the interest as 4%. the penalty rate is 3%. it is not that bad. if you are thinking about borrowing money to pay your taxes, you may want to ask the irs for an installment plan. if you cannot get it done but a 15, if you are sure you are having money coming back, take a few days. do not run into -- rushed into making a mistake. -- rush into making a mistake. host: nevada, go ahead. caller: i have a subscriber of kipling yoger.
9:06 am
i have had no earned income for several years. last year, i subscribed to five daily newspapers with a total coast -- cost of $2,600. $900 for financial magazines. for financial advisory services, $2,600. i go to investment conferences, the total cost $6,000. can i deduct that? guest: some people would say yes. i think that is a lot that would have a red flag on a return. you have to itemize first. you only get the deduction to the extent of 2% of exceeding
9:07 am
your income. probably no tax benefit for you because of that 2% limit. some of ours is personal information. some of it is investment information. "the wall street journal", a lot of people to deduct that. i think the irs forbids irs - investment conferences as a deduction. deadlock, but i think you have a tough time -- good luck, but i think you will have a tough time getting this deduction.
9:08 am
laess than 1% get an audit. most of them you do not have to sit down face to face with the irs. you get a letter. most of these are handled by mail called correspondence audits. investment expense deduction probably will not get audited. there is so little money involved. the irs has to decide if it is worth their while. next week, you will see all sorts of stories in the paper with a few entertainers going to jail because of tax fraud. it always happens. samuel jackson was 1 years ago. he did not go to jail, but he got down. be honest, pay your taxes, but to do not worry about an audit.
9:09 am
host: tampa, florida. susan. caller: i have a quick question. i think it is philosophical, so bear with me. i have worked for the federal government for the last few years as a school teacher. i am trying to understand the need of this right now. i added it up on paper, my salary as a schoolteacher, a public servant. after 36 years of teaching, $60,000 a year. i multiplied by federal income- tax taken out on an annual basis. if i am not mistaken, it came out to $450,000. i am a firm believer in the
9:10 am
robin hood syndrome. take from the rich and give to the poor. did did it is like a governmental -- it is like a governmental slush fund. i am on board with the. where did all of this money go? guest: a loss of it went to first-time home buyers this year. -- a lot of it went to first- time home buyers this year. some went to afghanistan. there is waste everywhere in federal government. i was on a program in nyc the other day. one asked me if it is true that a family of four would make elf -- would pay no federal income tax with a certain salary. it is such a way possible. many americans do not pay any federal income tax.
9:11 am
they pay social security tax. by the time you take a standard deduction, tall credits worth $1,000 for each -- child credits worth 1000 for each common you may pay noñjr federal income ta. if you look at the percentage the xipe over the years, the rich people pay a lot more. there is a huge bite in congress saying the texas go to the rich people. you can plug in your a.g.i. and we can tell you your status as a taxpayer. the top 5% of taxpayers that make a 30% of all income -- they
9:12 am
make 30% of the income but pay 55% of the texas. the bottom of all tax payers -- 55% of the taxes. nobody is happy about paying taxes. these tax breaks go to a lot of those people who are not paying as much. host: next. caller: how would a couple that is married file jointly and still split the income tax ? guest: you cannot split the income when you file jointly. you have to look at the way tax rate schedules work. the 10% bracket on a single
9:13 am
return is only half as high on a joint return. a husband and wife earning the same amount will be taxed the same rate. that is how the tax system is built. after the 25% bracket, it changes. more married couples get a marriage tax bonus then suffer from a marriage tax penalty. the vast majority of married people, the head by filing joint returns. host: west virginia. caller: i went like to ask you a question first. host: go ahead. caller: can you consider having
9:14 am
one person on since this coal mining disaster has occurred. that is right in my backyard. i like to hear his perspective on what is going on. he is right there in washington, d.c. i had a couple of questions for kevin. i am 58. this year i can take money out of my traditional ira. is that correct? can i role that over to a roth ira and then i am responsible for the tax on that? i have an illness that requires me to buy air purifiers that are quite expensive. can i claim those on my tax as a medical expense? guest: air purifiers like that
9:15 am
is considered a medical expense. you have to have to itemize deductions for that. and they must exceed 7.5% of your a.g.i. in a few years, that will go up to 10%. if the total exceeds 7.5 senna of your income, then you can deduct medical expenses -- % of your income, then you can deduct medical expenses. there is no penalty if you roll money from one ira to another. the big thing that has happened with roth conversions is prior to 2010 if the income was over
9:16 am
$100,000 they were prohibited from making a conversion. anybody can convert. if you move $50,000 from traditional to roth, future withdrawals from the roth would be tax-free. you have to pay tax on that $50,000 right now. that would be added to your income regarding the medical to adduction -- the dutch and raising 7.5% threshold. -- deduction, raising the 7.5% threshold. several states give their residents' tax deductions if they contribute to their own state, but there are still federal taxes. host: one question on twitter
9:17 am
has questions about time limits? guest: there are refunds from last year the people cannot collect because they did not file. you have to file within three years of the original due date. if it was able 152009, you have until 2012. -- if it was april 15, 2009, you have until 2012. host: is available on the irs system? guest: yes, that is great about computers. the biggest problem is finding the w-2 and the information. host: hagerstown, maryland. caller: my mother-in-law and
9:18 am
father-in-law, last may they received five letters notifying them that a number of tax years had not been filed. we have been trying to investigate it. i have contacted the irs. they said there are back refunds due. but if you do not file within three years, they keep the money. why don't they come after you? if we owe you money, we do not notify you. they wait for the return to be filed. what tax year do i have to file by four back tax years? and my in-laws are considering
9:19 am
giving one of their houses, signing it over to one of their children. what are the tax consequences for them or for one of the children who gets the house? guest:2006 return was due 2007. '06 is as far as you can go. you have to file by next week. each one can get $13,000 a year. if they are going to give a house to you and your wife, that is $52,000 that the dalia of the house can be transferred to you tax free. anything above that, they would have to file a gift tax.
9:20 am
above $13,000 a year, everybody gets $1 million of the gift tax. if the parents die why thehile e only house -- if they pay $50,000 and it is worth to under $50,000 and the child inherits its, there would be no tax on the $150,000. if it is a gift given while they are still alive, the $150,000 could be taxed. it gets tricky. you have to think about those things with a gift like this late in life. the key thing is to be careful, not to be scared. if you have not filed, you should.
9:21 am
most people have a refund coming. refunds drive me crazy. the average american will get $3,000 back. they took that amount out of their paychecks then they should. what is your agi and how big is your refund? more allowances should you be claiming to get your money now. it is not a good financial planning to have that big of a refund next year. host: thanks. we hope you come back. we will be speaking about the refugee crisis coming up. dan glickman will join us in just a moment.
9:22 am
2yhost: of dov former member of
9:23 am
congress -- former member of congress, dan glickman is our next guest. why a move to this field? guest: my mom would say, my son cannot keep a job. this is probably one of the most important things i have done. i have been a public servant for most of my life. i took a bit of a diversion when i ran the motion picture association. i am a worldwide advocate for
9:24 am
the plight of refugees and their displacement. it struck me as something important to do. , wanted to go back into public service. -- i wanted to go back into public service. and this gives me a chance to use some of the talents i have used in my other job to help those that cannot help themselves. host: in haiti, we see what our government and other governments are doing. where does your organization come in? guest: resent people down there to see how the humanitarian -- we sent people down there to see how the humanitarian efforts were going. we look to see how to you in is doing and how aid is being
9:25 am
transmitted, whether people who have been displaced because of the earthquake had a food, water, shelter. are they in personal danger that of their lives? we make recommendations on how things are going. we listed report on how the united nations should reorganize itself in how it is coordinating the aid down there. our role is basically to be the advocate council to those that have no other opportunities to get their voices heard. we do not take any funding from the united states government or the united nations. all of our funding comes from private sources, foundations, and individuals. we can take on the powers that be when people are getting lost in the process. host: 1.2 million people displaced by the count of reorganization.
9:26 am
how long does this situation last in haiti? will they get stabilized? guest: they have had a decades of a lack of capacity building. the international community has not focused attention on it as much as it should have. president bush and president clinton of trying to rebuild haiti. a society that has not been very well structured and lay on top of that one of the most serious natural disasters of our time, and it is going to be tough. we have to make sure the organized nations of the world do not forget about haiti and drop off the radar. one of the things we doé÷ is tae
9:27 am
places that are neglected and try to keep it on the world stage. host: 2.6 million people were internally displaced in one area. with that kind of scope, what can your organization realistically do? guest: an election will be: on very shortly. we issued a statement to indicate -- an election will be going on very shortly. we issued a statement to indicate that those displaced are not at the top of ascension. the government' of suda of sudae want to make sure they are
9:28 am
taking note. we will look at how these elections go to see if it further creates chaos and the puck -- displaces more people. we a been sending teams down there to identify the problem and pushed the united nations to push the international non- governmental communities to help people who are really suffering. host: our guest heads the refugee international organization. if you would like to call and ask questions about this, there are three lines available. you can also e-mail us and ask questions on twitter. first caller. caller: what is going on in
9:29 am
sudan? host: it is a very large country. there is a conflict that has existed between the northern part in the southern part for a long time. that conflict has spilled over into other countries in africa. there have been an extensive number of people displaced -- displaced in killeand killed. human rights violations is excessive there. we have been trying to get order their and tried to get free and fair elections, which would hopefully result in getting the people that have been displaced back into their own homes. sudan is a very topical issue right now. it has a lot of resources, oil.
9:30 am
we see other nations entering, the chinese are very much involved with energy production. that has complicated the problem. host: west bank, new jersey. caller: my question is in reference to the haitians. would they be allowed to come here and live? one time they were trying to leave and they were sent back to haiti. would they be allowed to come into the country? guest: i do not think our government policy is to allow massive numbers of haitians to come to the united states. we are trying to remedy this situation in haiti so people can go back to their homes and have a safe and secure supply of water, food, shelter, and
9:31 am
rebuild the country structurally. it has been decimated as a nation. we have our own immigration laws and refugee provisions that allow people to come into the united states. our goal is to try to make the situation tolerable and improve so that people would want to stay in kobach into their homes and be safe and secure -- and kobach into their homes and be safe and secure -- and go back into their homes and be safe and secure. host: u.s. immigration law inflected with the law established by the united nations? guest: i am not sure.
9:32 am
historically, we have had a fairly open opportunities under our refugee status. that is a congressional decision. money has been put into refugee resettlement programs. the goal is not to make this an immigration issue. we will have to find a way to rebuild and restart the haïtian infrastructure. take haiti and the dominican the publirepublic. two totally different nations structures in terms of coping with modern times and making sure people are fed and housed. we are working on these issues. every nation has its own laws regarding refugee applications
9:33 am
for admission into their countries. host: north carolina, republican line. nancy. host: i am an 82 year-old nurse. i see the hurt and hungry children. to the medical teams introduce birth control into these countries staggs gues i dosjd? guest: i do not know the answer to your question. i have only been on this job for nine days. maybe i will know more later. the big goal is the short-term humanitarian assistance to make sure that people do not die because of lack of the basic needs. the issues you raised in terms of family planning a much longer-term issues. host: in some cases, money goes
9:34 am
to a corrupt government and the money never gets to the people directly in need. how do you deal with this? guest: we are and overside organization. we are in there to monitor what is happening. then we can advocate from congress as well as the u.n., which can tell them this is just not working. we have to clean this up. our organizational structures are corrupt or people are ignoring human rights issues. in haiti, the goal has been to make sure that people do not die because of lack of shelter, food, or water. host: maryland. caller: i was listening last
9:35 am
week. they are talking about citizens from haiti in miami and the united states does not want to give them status of refugee. what did you do about that? guest: i did not see that particular situation. we have our own asylum laws in this country. i cannot speak to that circumstance. this country has been very generous over the years with respect to dire circumstances with haitian refugees and others around the world. i do not know of these particular circumstances with this case. there are limits to how many
9:36 am
people we can take under the statutes that exist. i want to repeat what our job largely is to do our best to ensure that people can live and cope in a world political crises or a natural disaster has occurred, so they can go home and return to the place where they are from and live happily and comfortably. host: the bread crust makes things happen -- a the american red cross makes things happen on the ground. guest: sometimes we can be critical of them if we find they are not doing the work we think they should be doing. our customer is the person who has been displaced. we are advocates. many organizations save the
9:37 am
lives because they are serving food and water and shelter on the ground. we are watching out for these people to make sure it happens. host: what is your relation to talking to people on capitol hill about this? guest: we share reports with our current demint and with congress -- government and with congress. this is an issue that has no partisan flavor to it. some of the biggest advocates to protect the rights of displaced people from liberal democrats and conservative republicans in the sense that it is one of the few issues that gets people working together. that is part of the humanitarian spirit of america. one of the issues is funding.
9:38 am
are there dollars available for helping refugees worldwide and aiding the un, which provides most of the assistance. we provide financial help to you in and directly to the country's. we provide assistance -- directly to the countries. we make sure that governments are doing what they should be doing and help provide the money and resources they need to take care of people who are really hurt. we have a long tradition of having great leadership in humanitarian assistance. we have funding issues. we always have problems of
9:39 am
resources. this nation has largely led the way worldwide. we show leadership when it comes to helping people worldwide. host: west palm beach, republican line. caller: yes, i would like to see all of these refugees that are in this country, the millions that are here in a be talked to and stay here, because we all came from someplace. my grandfather came from russia. everybody came from someplace except the american indian. if they're ok, let them stay here. guest: this is a country founded
9:40 am
by immigrants. people came to this country from other places. many were refugees, certainly before the second world war. the tens of not see oppression and soviet oppression. -- the victim's not seeinazi ant oppression. i get his point. h]7zsome people ask what is in t for us? our country was founded on the principle of give me your tired, your poor. they were persecuted elsewhere
9:41 am
board is placed for put in an intolerable situation. we cannot accept every refugee in the world. but we have an obligation to try to help those people where they live so they can go home and go back to where they are from an live safe and comfortable lives. host: do you call on those in the entertainment community to help? guest: i was involved in the motion picture industry. it has done a good job of disciplining these issues in documentary's and in theatrical movies like hotel one o"hotel rr "blood diamon."
9:42 am
we have actors on our board such as matt dillon. actors, filmmakers, people like george clooney, demonstrate a significant commitment to people around the world. some of it do it with little publicity. maybe in my current role, i can continue to encourage that. i would like to see more documentary filmmakers exposed to the world and the people. host: democrat line. caller: i remember that he is one of the best secretaries that
9:43 am
we have had. guest: you have great judgment. caller: heavy seen opportunities for a strategy -- have you seen opportunities for a strategy for giving refugees food, which is what they need the most? can they increase livestock and plant crops? guest: food is a big issue if you are displaced because of a political situation such as in iraq or afghanistan. one of a long-term interests is feeding the world, having been secretary of agriculture for several years. there is a united nations agency
9:44 am
that provides food around the world. it is a very good question. one of the things our country can do a better job of is not only providing food aid for people that are hungry in the world, which we have done an excellent job of. we have to make these countries much more self sufficient. it is tough to do in some societies when it comes to civil war. many countries in south asia are producing food much more productive way and not one line on massive amounts of american food of the time. -- and not relying on massive amounts of american food all of the time.
9:45 am
we have changed the way we produce a lot of crops like wheat. one person developed a wheat that would grow in hot climates. many say it helped prevent many people from dying faction the 1960's. we have fought aggressively to help people feed themselves. we have lost that over the last few years as we have focused more on providing food aid in nothing else. that is changing now. the obama administration and others in the state department are really beginning to turn this around and trying to focus on helping countries feed themselves.
9:46 am
you can do a lot to create political and economical stability, which would reduce the refugee crisis. host: jacksonville, fla., republican line. caller: i have worked in 10 countries as a chemical engineer. a friend of mine is a part-time missionary and does work in haiti right now. before the earthquake, he approached my international group because we had to convert something into gasoline which is a high-price commodity. if haiti were to have land reform where families could have
9:47 am
an area to grow this as well as food, we could set up a system that would be self sustaining financially to get the people out of the city, which is subject to earthquakes and be self sustaining. on the land down there, maybe you can check and see what it would take to fuel this kind of operation guest: it speaks to the larger issue which is haiti is in desperate need of restructuring, both economically and socially. there is a need to rebuild the system so that they can use their assets.
9:48 am
one is to build an economic foundation so they can put people to work and haiti does not remain the lowest per-capita income country in the western hemisphere. we cannot forget haiti. the earthquake has brought to the attention -- it has been teetering on the brink of economic disaster for quite some time. we may provide some immediate aid, but if we are not careful, we will not deal with the longer-term issues. host: what about the brevity is in afghanistan and pakistan? guest: pakistan has one of the largest numbers of refugees in
9:49 am
the world. it has had conflicts in that region, some of which was supposed 9/11 conflict. -- was post 9/11 conflict. the military needs to be much more engaged in humanitarian efforts as well as reducing human rights abuses, which occurs sometimes under their watch. that area where the borders are poroor and the taliban is increasing their influence is significant. over 1 million people have had to leave their homes, may be more than that. they live in a temporary status,
9:50 am
which is something we cannot tolerate for a long time. if people to not have a home to go back to, they are more susceptible to things like the terrorism. we have to get our own government and others to focus on the humanitarian needs of this very large refugee community. host: independent line. caller: i am calling about liberia. i had a daughter and son-in-law who have been there for three years now. they have come home for a visit recently. they are missionaries. now they are back in liberia. they say the number one thing that is holding the people back
9:51 am
there is poverty, not being able to get a cup of food to eat per day for the children and for themselves. the people have created jobs for themselves. they have natural resources that people used to come over there and buy and if they were to come back and by those things, the country could probably take care -- be on the road to taking care of themselves. what do you do to help people who are like that in that situation to get the resources back to the marketplace? guest: we are a small organization, so we cannot be
9:52 am
everywhere in the world. we focus on countries like sudan, pakistan, iraq that are neglected, that nobody else is really involved with. we will come in and take a look at the humanitarian conditions of people that have been displaced. many people around the world have problems. there has been a political change for the positive in liberia. hopefully that will have an impact on the political repression there as well as economic vitality. after government is probably showing more attention to some of these problems in africa. maybe that will help address some of the issues that the
9:53 am
caller raised. host: illinois, republican line. caller: i was sitting here watching. i see a lot of these organizations like mr. glickman's. private money comes from private individuals. i have an idea of how you get these jobs. how did you get your job? chile had a bad earthquake. hillary clinton went down there. they did not really want our help. a lot of problems that i see is our government', especially on the democratic side, makes
9:54 am
people dependent on government. that is what we tried to do around the world of the time. i do not see how this helps people. guest: most of where the u.s. government is into helping people is, it is not a partisan issue at all. george bush and bill clinton went down together to try to deal with this enormous humanitarian crisis that took place down there. most of the issues i have talked about our issues that a bipartisan group is actively involved to help people persecuted or distressed. in many cases, some of the most conservative members of congress fighting for a human-rights are often out trying to get the u.s.
9:55 am
government to pay attention to this. it is not an effort to try to make people dependent upon us. our country has a long history of trying to deal with people who are persecuted, distressed, who have no advocates for themselves. some countries like chile or wealthier countries, there are not human rights problems down there. they do not need our help or the help of the rest of the world. some parts of this world are almost totally forgotten. that is one of the things that our organization tries to do, to make sure they are not forgotten. they are a human beings and they deserve the dignity of housing, shelter, and food. host: democrat line. caller: in haiti, when they were
9:56 am
delivering supplies, about 30 or 40 men were passing boxes from one to another. have they ever used techniques called roller bars? they roll this down to the area they want to give supplies to. it may save money and time and manpower and help get medical and food to some of these people. guest: i do not know the answer. the u.s. military, which is probably the most sophisticated operation in the world in terms of providing on the ground assistance has been in haiti. they are experts in providing
9:57 am
food, water, and shelter. i would hope they are reducing the techniques you just talked about. host: cincinnati, ohio, republican line. caller: i want to ask about some of way. many refugees are here. it is a country that has a lot of potential. it has a city not being utilized. what's do you know about the elections happening there? are you involved in what is
9:58 am
happening in zimbabwe? guest: historically we have looked at it, but we are not involved in them right now. they have extremely destructive regimes. we hope to see a turnaround in the political situation there. there are refugee assistance in many places in the world. we do as much as began to monitor these things. we are not everywhere. we have to pick and choose based upon where other people are. other organizations are involved there. there has been a lot of political persecution there. host: what is your plan during the first six months on the job? guest: i want to listen twice as
9:59 am
much as i talk. i will do some traveling around the world to see for myself firsthand the problems the refugees face. i have a talented staff traveling to many of the countries i mentioned before. we want to work with our government, congress, the united nations said that they understand this is a high- priority issue to the american people. host: refugees international dot org is the website. thank you for coming on. coming up tomorrow, a round table looking at the political process especially with congress over the easter break. a white house reporter.


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on